The chief among publicans was detested by many for his fraudulent practices (he stole from the poor to support his selfish desires). Still, even defined by his abhorrent actions, there was room in Zacchaeus’ heart for more – something that was honest.
Jesus’ words, through the preaching of John the Baptist at the Jordan, provided that “more” and honesty that he was looking for. He was stirred through conviction to repentance. He was stirred so greatly that he begun the process of righting his wrongs with others. That is, giving back to the poor four times as much as he stole from them.
Zacchaeus’ path toward restoration did not end with rebuilding the broken relationships he helped to create. It led him to seek the presence of Jesus.
This took guts. It takes gut not to become satisfied only in restoring our relationship with others. It takes guts to move beyond that peace and satisfaction and take a daring course of action to gain a clearer view of the Savior or move into a deeper encounter with Him.
Zacchaeus had guts.
His search for a clearer view of Jesus came at the right time as Jesus was scheduled to pass through his home town. Zacchaeus climbed a tree to glimpse the Savior and when their eyes connected, Jesus instructed him to come down because He was going to his house.
Jesus, the Holy One was going to the house to spend time with one who was far from holy.
Let’s pause. Long before Zacchaeus was led to climb that tree to see Jesus, God had already carefully planted that tree and nurtured it until the day it was needed. He provided a way for Zacchaeus to gain the advantage of seeing the Savior long before he even acknowledged his heart’s desire to see the Savior. That was grace in all its glory then (love given when he didn’t deserve it, before he needed it). And this grace is still working behind the scenes for us in this moment.
It’s comforting to know that when I am finally honest with myself and the Holy Spirit, God will provide a solution or way to help me gain a clearer glimpse of Jesus. For, only when our hearts are susceptible to divine influences and awakened with a genuine desire for a life that is better, can God begin aligning people, places and opportunities in our path, according to His will, to lead us closer to Him.
Shell-shocked, Zacchaeus made his way down and led the way to his house.
Salvation had come to Zaccheaus’ house as stated by Jesus.
The Savior’s visit and blessing not only fell upon Zacchaeus but it touched and impacted all who lived in his house too. That’s how far reaching the power of God’s love is – when we allow Jesus’ love into our homes or “hearts”, He not only blesses us but those whom we interact with daily as well. His blessings to us, overflow to those within our circle of influence.
If there be some relationship that we have sustained with everything but integrity, the Holy Spirit is able to come within us, transform our thinking and being, so that we can right those relationships or restore them to complete health. But before this happens, our desire for change must be genuine and our hearts must be open and vulnerable to the Spirit’s convicting, leading and healing. And even before that happens, God has already provided a solution before there is a need. His love brings what He does behind the scenes, what the Holy Spirit does in our lives and what we do in the lives of others, together….beautifully and perfectly.
“Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.” Matthew 6: 8
(C) 2017, Dentrecia Blanchette